Have you ever wondered why you open some apps so quite often, while others in similar space not so much? How have these apps become the leaders in their space? Why are they so addictive? What’s their secret sauce?
What are Digital Nudges?
So the other day I was watching my TV shows on Hotstar (an online streaming platform) while having my meal, and there was this one nudge that caught my eye. And this nudge wasn’t a regular animation or didn’t annoy me every day with a pop-up. But after watching the same show regularly for 5 days or so, the “Add to Watchlist” option was popping out asking me to add the show to my playlist in order to ease the way to access my regularly watched shows! And yeah, after that life definitely became easier. Now with just one click, I could watch my shows easier than ever before!
The best part about this nudge was that it was not a plain e-mail or a repeated push notification sent, but a very smart nudge. It felt something like the app “understood” my behavior of watching the same show every day, and it nudged me to watchlist that can make things easier for me. In other words, it understood this context of my activity on the app and contextually nudged me towards discovering a feature that can help in the long run. Eventually, it improved my app experience as well. I wasn’t going to say no to things that made life simpler! And definitely, I was impressed by these contextual dynamic things happening in the app and want to see what other surprises I have in store while I explore the app.
Now, that is a perfect Digital Nudge - Digital nudges are contextual in-app nudges which guide users while they are using your app, and only when they need the guidance.
What is Context?
“The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, along with the terms to fully understand these settings”
In an everyday conversation, identifying the listener’s context when the speaker explains something makes it easier for the listener to understand what the speaker is explaining, right? In the case of mobile apps, for an experienced user, not much of hand-holding is needed compared to a new user. Identifying their persona is an added bonus while acting upon them, and using it to help them in the app makes it more impactful.
Apart from the regular push notifications and in-apps, having smart behavioral nudges plays a very crucial role these days in retaining users. One key factor that can help your app win is contextually nudging users towards selecting a feature or altering the behavior of the user to prevent them from dropping off or even bringing them to a path of converting them to a power user. “Being context-aware” is what I would like to call it.
The deal behind context and understanding why it is needed in the first place
“How Random…” is something you don’t want your end-users to think when you nudge them towards a feature or an aspect of your app. Instead keeping your users feel “Wow this is what I needed” and immediately acting upon the feature is what you need to focus on. And what can help? Context, of course.
Being context-aware inside your app improves the overall experience of the app. Having a solid strategy in understanding user personas, their navigation across the app, and then adapting to their needs is an essential ingredient in growth. To help businesses run the show even smoother, product intelligence tools are built to cater to those needs. To prove context is the element you need, let me explain a case study. Doubtnut, one of India’s leading Edutech apps nudged users towards paid content. This campaign was targeted contextually only on the power users of the app, who unlocked a specific level on the app and users who completed courses regularly. The ability to influence the behavior of these target users in the context of them exploring the app increased the payments significantly. This would have not worked if the right context of users was not available. Didn’t I say? Context is the magic you need!
Showcasing niche features on the app leading to Feature Adoption
When a user is using the app, this is the time to anchor upon for nudging them towards a certain behavior. It could be scrolling on the app and reading, or actively using the app like playing a video or adding items to a cart. Sometimes it can be even scrolling through the app but not active where they haven’t been activated yet. So how to deal with these segments of users: one being active, and the other being inactive/idle on the app and eventually both the segments to become power users.
For active users, based on their activity done on the app, they can be nudged towards a relevant functionality on the app. A classic example can be stated as Google’s nudge towards replying to unnoticed mails. After 2 -3 days if important emails are not replied back to, you get a nudge asking to reply back! This can come handy when an important email slips through the cracks. The time spent on that application along with the number of scrolls done by the user can be used to build the context to trigger. Did you know contextually nudging, in general, is a principle that small actions can have a substantial impact on the way people behave, driving towards a positive change? In this case, the positive change is in engagement.
For inactive users, the necessity to get them started to explore the app is way higher than usual. An idle time period of 8 secs can act as a trigger asking the user to scroll or check out a new feature or even redirect them to content that is trending which can catch their interest. While it is important to track your activation rate, a possible reason why many users might not get activated can be due to the lack of the right nudge that they need to act on. Having a smart nudge sure does the work perfectly. But having the nudge on the user contextually improves the impact of the nudge on the whole.
Contextual Nudges needn’t be only based on the activity that they do but also based on external factors, such as Location, Time, Weather, and whatnot. A contextual nudge can be showing the user the store locator feature if they have used the app in a different state and now are at a different place. Or it can be even nudging towards where new restaurants can be discovered in the app where dinner is served best during the night time. Showing them relevant content based on their context is one way to adapt to user needs, and nudging them towards already existing content/features with their context is another way to alter user behavior towards greater feature adoption.
Want a Sneak Peak of how it can be done? How can an uber-cool tool help you?
Apxor is the world's first digital nudging platform, developed to help you create hyper-contextual and hyper-personalized digital smart nudges within minutes. This no-code tool is designed to help you turn your product related insights into actions within no time. This means that you save tonnes of developer effort and time, while also capitilizing on the opportunity micro-moments which would be otherwise lost in the time you spend on designing and developing the nudges in-house.
Formulating the secret sauce to having a Smart Nudge: Data-driven Insights + Context + Non-Intrusive UI
And now, our before and after recipe for boosting KPIs is going to look something like this :
With Apxor all the contextual nudges that we spoke about all along, can be done in a jiffy. Apxor provides you with all the flexibility you need to create the perfect smart nudge. With my experience of working with multiple apps across multiple verticals and launching experiments left, right and center, if there’s one constant observation I have seen, it is this: This difference between campaigns that just work and campaigns that gives insane results is context. That’s the magic that does wonders!
All in all, context matters! As much as it is important in a daily conversation or while conveying a story to a group, it is extremely important to have proper context while conveying a message on your app as well. When you have your insights hot, cook your actions contextually, and serve them to users to consume to get the best of the experience! It takes only up to 5 minutes for us to create these smart nudges using Apxor! Can’t believe this number? Go smart, get in touch with us, and start building your smart nudges today!
** This article was originally published by the writer on Product Coalition - https://productcoalition.com/the-secret-sauce-to-designing-smart-nudges-a6fb7f7dd6e3 **